Edibles and ornamentals together.

10 ways to grow edibles as ornamentals

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One of the hottest trends in gardening is the use of edible plants in ornamental gardens. Incorporating beautiful varieties of veggies in flower beds creates unique textures and forms and adds a ton of interest to the garden. Not to mention that it’s more productive! In the photo above, the designers at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida have included cabbage and kale in their ornately designed flower beds by mixing them with snapdragons and petunias. While your home garden may not be nearly as elaborate, the concept is the same. Here are ten simple ways to add edibles to your design palate:

1. Tuck ruffled, colored lettuce varieties in between impatiens in foundation beds.

2. Sow a few Swiss chard seeds in your flowering containers.

3. Grow pole beans up a trellis with climbing roses.

4. Add burgundy-leaved mustard greens to freshen up a window box design.

5. Plant blueberry and currant bushes against the house, in place of rhododendrons and azaleas.

6. Incorporate a few unusual eggplants into perennial borders. Choose ones with pink, white, or striped fruits to really stand out from the crowd.

7. Grow colorful mini-bell peppers along the front walk, mixing them with tropical flowers like cannas and elephant ears for a bold look.

8. Weave herb plants among the annuals in foundation beds and shrub islands.

9. Place a trellis or wooden obelisk in the center of the hummingbird or butterfly garden. Grow climbing pole beans and sugar snap peas on it.

10. Sow carrots along the edge of flower beds. The ruffly green foliage makes a beautiful edging.

Do you already incorporate edible plants into your landscape? Tell us how! 

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3 Responses to 10 ways to grow edibles as ornamentals

  1. Sandi Holmes-Schwedler says:

    The foliage of Bulls Blood beets have a lush, burgundy color that I use around perennials in cool weather…then I eat them!

    • savvygardening says:

      What a fabulous idea Sandi! Niki uses Bull’s Blood in her cold frames for a blast of red in her winter salads. But it would be stunning around perennials too!

  2. Claire says:

    I LOVE edible flowers like violets, violas, chives, calendula. A sprinkling of flowers always takes a salad to gourmet level. Plus I get a little snack while working in the garden. 💜

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